European Union External Action

Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council

Bruxelles, 16/03/2015 - 00:15, UNIQUE ID: 150316_01
Statements by the HR/VP

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Good morning,

Today we will discuss with the Ministers first of all Libya. As you know, it is a crisis that affects very much the region, but also directly the European Union, all of the European Union.

I have had talks last week with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon in New York and then in Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday with the key players of the region and I will share with the Ministers concrete steps that the European Union can take to support the outcome of the dialogue that is currently under way in Rabat under the auspices of the UN. We will also discuss Africa, not only the crises, but also the political developments, the partnership we have with Africa and also the economic opportunities it offers. And we will discuss migration and this is, I found out, the first time in more than 10 years, the first time in 11 years that Foreign Ministers will have this issue on the agenda. It is very important that we start a new phase on our European work on migration. Today, with the Ministers, we will have a first informal discussion, together with Commissioner Avramopoulos, on the external work that the European Union can do to face this dramatic challenge, dramatic for the people that are choosing or forced to leave their countries, the humanitarian impact of this, on the people themselves, on the countries of transit, of origin, of destination and the challenges we have as Europeans. The Interior Ministers have discussed this last week. It is important that the Foreign Ministers do their part to complement the work that we do internally so that we have a better management, a more rational management of the phenomenon. This will be the key discussion we will have today.

And we will also discuss the Eastern Partnership. We will discuss the preparation of the Riga Summit. Both on this and on Libya I will bring the result of our work in the European Council later this week.

On Egypt after Friday's Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh

We discussed that with many and with President Sisi first of all. I found that the conference was for sure helpful. I think that Egypt has now to deliver on better economic and social condition for its own citizens, all of them, making sure that progress is equally shared and the benefits of progress are equally shared and I hope that it is going to the right direction, yes.

Dichiarazione in italiano

Oggi al Consiglio parleremo innanzitutto di Libia, non è la prima volta che ne parliamo, ma avremo sul tavolo alcune opzioni concrete di come l'Unione Europea può sostenere il risultato di un dialogo nazionale che con grande difficoltà ma con grande determinazione stiamo portando avanti insieme alle Nazioni Unite con tutte le parti in causa. Parleremo anche d'immigrazione, sono 11 anni che i Ministri degli Esteri non adottano conclusioni sull'immigrazione, è ora di cambiare pagina sulle politiche europee dell'immigrazione, è ora che i ministri degli esteri siano pienamente coinvolti, pienamente responsabili della gestione delle politiche migratorie dell'Unione Europea sul versante esterno. I Ministri dell'Interno hanno lavorato su questo la scorsa settimana, è importante che oggi qui noi facciamo il collegamento tra le politiche esterne e le politiche interne dell'Unione Europea riguardo alla gestone delle politiche migratorie. Parleremo di Africa non soltanto dal punto di vista dei conflitti, delle crisi, del terrorismo, che è chiaramente la preoccupazione numero uno in questo momento di tutti noi, ma anche la partnership politica con l'Africa, un continente di grande sviluppo, un continente che può relazionarsi con l'Unione Europea in modo più strutturato, più approfondito, non soltanto per la gestione dei rischi ma anche per cogliere pienamente le opportunità politiche ed economiche che ci saranno. Avremo anche un punto di preparazione sul Summit di Riga, summit sul Partenariato Orientale, e alcune decisioni che verranno prese all'inizio del Consiglio, sulla strategia sulla Siria e sull'Iraq e sulla Bosnia-Erzegovina.

On Iran

When we will finish the Council, I will have first a bilateral meeting with Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran, and then a meeting with him and with the three European Ministers who are part of the negotiations of the nuclear file. As we are entering a crucial time, crucial two weeks, where the negotiations will have to find the common ground for good deal. So today we will have one part of these important negotiations, the European ones here in Brussels.

On Bosnia and Herzegovina

I was visiting Sarajevo twice, in the last months, I have seen the real willingness of all: the citizens of the country, the leadership, the Parliament, the Institutions to go on the reforms, first of all the economic and social reforms, and to retake the way of European integration. The European Union institutions - and today we will do that - are ready to reciprocate in this. Today I expect that we will take a decision on the SAA, and I hope that this can give a clear sign not only of the commitment of Bosnian people and authorities, but also of the European Union institutions and people to go hand in hand in this process that in these first months of my mandate, I have to say, is giving me a lot of hope for the future.

Thank you!